ITN pays tribute to Hill, who has died aged 52.
“This is a desperately sad day for all of us at ITN. Geoff was a giant in our industry, a journalist’s journalist, who simply adored the competitive adrenaline of television news, and never forgot why what we do really matters.
“A force of nature, he loved nothing more than to be at the heart of a breaking news story, leading his team from the front. He was an exceptional leader and editor, as well as a much-loved friend and mentor to so many. He will be deeply missed.” – ITN chief executive Deborah Turness
The team behind ITV News, ITN, have today pays tribute to their former news editor Geoff Hill, who has passed away following a long period of illness. Described by the company as a ‘highly talented and passionate journalist’ Geoff had a career in news and current affairs that stretched back almost 30 years. Hill rose through the ranks at ITN, most recently as Editor of the multi-award-winning ITV News where he had been responsible for ITV’s national news programmes, ITV News London, ITN-produced Tonight programmes, current affairs show On Assignment and live specials and documentaries for ITV since 2013.
Geoff’s long and successful career with ITN ended prematurely when he decided to stand down from his post as Editor in September 2020 following a sustained period of illness, ITV News notes that ‘Geoff was diagnosed with leukaemia in September 2017. After temporarily stepping down from his role to focus on treatment, he planned to return full-time as Editor of ITV News in 2020. However, after a relapse, he stood down.’
“Geoff was a great journalist, a great enthusiast and a great friend. He loved television journalism and the people who work in it. As an editor, Geoff had enormous drive, passion and energy. He led by example and his teams often produced exceptional work as a result.
Geoff believed responsible, impartial journalism was a force for good. He cared deeply about all the programmes he edited and about the future of journalism. Geoff always wanted to do the right thing, to help people where he could and to take practical actions to make the world a slightly better place. We have lost a really good man. I loved working with Geoff and will forever value our friendship.” – Michael Jermey, Director of News and Current Affairs, ITV
During his tenure at ITV News, Geoff led the newsroom through a period of profound change, reporting the election results of 2015 and 2017, the Scottish referendum and the EU referendum of 2016 where he called the result in the gallery, relayed live to the nation by Tom Bradby on the network’s overnight programme. He was likewise at the helm to oversee the programmes to announce the results of the US Election and Donald Trump’s win, in addition to the changes to Evening News and News at Ten.
Prior to that he was appointed Editor of 5 News when the programme returned to ITN in 2011, recruiting a talented team and building a brand-new newsroom and studio and helping to establish its unique editorial voice.
Before that, Geoff was Director of Coverage at CNN International, a role that saw him lead content for the network across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Prior to CNN, Geoff worked for ITN for nearly a decade from 2000 until 2009 where he held senior input and output positions at ITV News, rising to Programme Editor, with responsibility for the flagship News at Ten. He went on to launch and run the 24-hour sports news channel Setanta Sports News as Editor-in-Chief.
Geoff is survived by his wife Nat Hill and his three children, Emily, Olivia and Alfie.
“All at ITN send our sincere condolences to Geoff’s family and friends.” – ITN statement